Sharing The Gospel While Walking Through The BibleOctober 4, 2007
This outline is what I personally try to use when sharing the gospel with people. This is especially so when I have a Bible in hand. I don’t always cover all the verses, nor do I fully explain all the points as I do here. However, I do generally follow this basic form of explaining the good news. I hope this helps you as well. If you’re a Christian, please invite a sinner out to eat and share this eternal message of hope with them! Let the Bible speak for itself.
Foundation of God’s nature and character:
God’s sovereignty – Genesis 1:1, Acts 17:24-28, Colossians 1:16-17
God’s holy character (by viewing the moral law) – Isaiah 6:5, Deuteronomy 5, Exodus 20
The Bad News:
Man’s unholy character (by viewing the moral law) – 1 John 3:4, Galatians 5:19-21, Romans 1:28-32
Man’s bondage to Satan and death – 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:3, Romans 8:7-8, Romans 7:21-24
The extent of our offense to God – James 2:10, Galatians 3:10, Deuteronomy 27:26
God’s perfect justice – Romans 2:5-8, Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:27
The Good News:
Christ’s perfect life for us – Hebrews 4:15
Christ’s perfect condemnation and death for us – Romans 8:1-4
Christ’s work is satisfactory for us because He rose – Romans 6:8-10
Believe to know you are right with God – 2 Corinthians 13:5, Romans 10:9-10 (what the profession looks like)
Repent (as a lifestyle) to know you are right with God – James 2:14-19, 1 John 3:9, Ephesians 2:8-10
Know that because of Christ, you have victory over Satan, death, and no longer have to bear God’s eternal torment in Hell for having acted like Satan – 1 John 3:7-8, Colossians 2:13-15, Romans 5:9-11
We are rescued from all of this to know and love God forever – John 17:3
If we receive this single greatest message of hope, we must know that God has loved us first and His love for us cannot be undone – Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:10, Romans 8:29-39
God is other, pure, and holy.
Isaiah 6:1-5 “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
We are not pure and holy like God. Don’t be fooled! There are no good and bad people. There are only bad people and a good God.
Romans 3:10-12 “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
The moral law, or Ten Commandments, allows us to compare ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ (God).
Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5
Do not worship another god; do make a false god for yourself, do not blaspheme God (make God’s name disgraceful, or make what is disgraceful equal to God), honor the Sabbath (dedicate thanks, rest, and praise to God weekly), honor your parents (unless they tell you to break these commands), do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie, do not covet (be thankful and content with what you have been given).
God requires absolute perfection from us of these commands. He demands that we be flawless in thought, word, and deed from the moment we come into existence to the moment we die. If we have ever broken God’s commands in thought, word, or deed, then we are guilty of infinite crimes according to God’s justice. Here is why:
James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”
Galatians 3:10, Deuteronomy 27:26 “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
If we have broken God’s commands then we are declared lawbreakers, or sinners before God.
1 John 3:4 “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”
God does not grade sin on a curve. All are at fault of sin before His holy eyes. He does not smile on good people and frown on bad people. He frowns on all people, except Jesus Christ who was perfect. All who fall at least a hair short of perfection are deserving of eternal wrath. Where imperfection lies, so does eternal condemnation. Are you perfect? Do you have any hint of sin in you from today, last week, or ever in your whole life? If any degree of sin is to be found in you, your soul is dead, you are shut off from God, you will die physically, and you are on the path to deserving your final downfall which is your legal death. Because of your sin, your final downfall is your legal declaration of death by which God upholds His perfect justice and perfect punishment to your lawlessness. This is God’s very own unending wrath which is etenal torment in Hell. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…”
Hebrews 9:27 “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment”
Romans 2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”
As Christian author Mike Yaconelli has said, “The gospel is messy from our side and perfect from God’s side.” In other words, we have nothing to offer God but our horrific sin. We deserve nothing from God but His wrath and anger. So is God still mad with you because you’re not as good as you ought to be? Your response to the gospel, God’s good news to you, will allow you to find out.
Sinners need a perfect life in place of their imperfect one. They also need a substitute who will die and take God’s wrath for them. Finally, they need to be raised from the dead in order to be united back to God, thus restored into relationship with Him. In other words, we need Jesus Christ, who is both God and man, to remove all barriers which stand between us sinners and the Holy God. Christ has done all these things for sinners. He has lived for sinners, died for sinners, and resurrected from the dead for sinners.
Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.” The word ‘tempted’, which is the greek word ‘peradzo’, carries the intonation of being tempted from the outside, not the inside. Jesus did not have inward cravings to sin as we with sinful natures do. Jesus’ inward cravings were always nothing other than accomplish the will of the Father.
Romans 8:1-4 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us”
Romans 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
Romans 6:5-11 “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
What is the sinner’s rightful response to the gospel? To know that you are right with God the Father, on behalf of the works of Jesus, given to you by the Holy Spirit, you must believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord (Ruler), and Savior (rescuer from sin and Himself). If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord, you will prove that you are right with God, for only a mind changed by the Spirit can genuinely confess such a thing. If you also believe in your heart that Jesus rose from the dead on your behalf, thus raising you out of your sin and uniting you with Himself, then you will know you are saved from your sin and God’s wrath, because only a heart changed by the Spirit can believe this truth.
Romans 10:9-10 “if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
It is important to note that God does not save us because of our confession and belief. Rather, these are a ramification of our changed heart from the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 4:4-5 “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
Grace is someone doing for us what we are crippled of doing. So even though God has every right to judge us, He graciously saves us instead. He saves us from ourselves (our sin), and from Himself (His wrath), apart from our physical or mental merit, and while we are in a state of condemning Him.
Looking at the verse above, the ‘as’ in ‘as righteousness’ is more correctly translated ‘for righteousness’. The preposition ‘as’ in greak is ‘eis’, which is a leading into. Faith is given to us by God so that Christ’s righteousness (perfect life) may follow and be given to us. So faith saves us because it means God sees Christ’s performance, not ours. But we are not saved by faith in order for salvation to be easily attainable, thus making simple salvation the reality of God’s grace. Rather biblically, God uses faith… to save us! This is so our rescue will be apart from our ability to win God’s favor, and will be totally, completely, and fully by His grace only. Romans 4:16 “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace”
But the correct response to the gospel is that we still have to believe the good news of Jesus Christ. We must place our faith in Him and His work for us.
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.”
There is nothing wrong with asking God for salvation through Christ. In fact, we must ask God to save us because if we don’t then we are left under His condemnation and wrath! All must ask and should ask God to give them a new heart, take away their unbelief, and forgive them of their sin. We must say, pray, and do all these things or we will only be left knowing that we are not right with God. The one who believes will know they are right with God. God offers this message of hope to the world, that any who would believe in Jesus Christ and His work will not perish but may rest assure of their everlasting life with Christ (John 3:16).
Having been given a new soul by the Spirit, and received back to the Father by the works of Christ, we will evidence our changed hearts through our actions and lives.
1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.”
James 2:24 “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”
The greek word ‘you see’ is ‘horate’ which means to perceive or notice something. Some interpret ‘you see’ as an imperative, or a command, ie. ‘look’ or ‘look you!’ James isn’t drawing our attention to the fact that one is justified by both faith AND works, as some assume. ‘You see’ or ‘horate’ is indicative in this verse; meaning it is passive in mood. Therefore, by looking at the context of James 2, and the greek, James is telling us how we perceive or notice one’s justification. We notice it not only by mere profession of faith, but by one’s works. Those born of the Spirit of God cannot and will not continue in habitual sin, just as 1 John 3:9 states above. A heart changed by the Spirit is bent towards the Spirit, more then being bent towards rebellion.
This does not mean that Christians will never sin. Christians sin all the time. The difference for the true Christian is continual repentance of sin, continual dependency upon Christ’s finished work of fully absolving our sin, and progressively living less enslaved to sin.
1 John 1:8-10 “(In speaking to believers) If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
Romans 8:9;12-13 “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.” “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation to live according to-but it is not to the sinful nature. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live”
We are not saved unto continual sin or lazy Christianity. The sufficient and all satisfying accomplishments of Christ enable us to 1. have a bases to have good works which cannot condemn us when we do them imperfectly. 2. We are saved in order to be restored back to God’s image in which we can have proper motives in our works for God. This is instead of being motivated out of fear in our works leading only to disaproval. 3. We are saved in order to have the best of all possible works imaginable, for the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit and is empowered with special graces to will, act, and grow in such a way that is greatly joyful to himself and telling of God. Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
To sum it all up, the gospel is where our greatest fears (God’s eternal wrath) and our greatest hopes (being reconciled to God) meet. If we admit our sin, acknowledging that we deserve nothing less than God’s just punishment, but also believe God’s good news to us, that Jesus Christ pardons us and gives us life, we will deeply know His love for us and forever enjoy His presence.
C.S. Lewis said, “God does not love us because we are good, but because God loves us He makes us good.”
Please believe the gospel today! Please place your faith in Jesus Christ and live for Him before your death bed arrives.
Finally, let me end by adding that the gospel is truth which answers the two greatest pressing concerns of the human heart.
1. To be rid of guilt. The acceptance of God Almighty makes all other temporary and insufficient human approvals utterly insignificant. People are hard on others primarily because they live in fear of what seems impossible. Namely, to be forgiven of their own great sin. Only Christ can clothe our naked sin drenched bodies with Christ’s flawless robe of righteousness. Some, however, do not live in guilt, but suppress their guilt with feeling sorry for themselves. They refuse to take accountability for their own faults and problems, and pass them off as products of victimization. To these people, God will not pity or show remorse to unless they as well admit their faults and finally believe the gospel. No one owes you anything in comparison to the eternal dept you owe God. We must all ultimately answer to God Almighty, not man. The gospel will allow us to deeply know God’s love for us, which is most liberating.
2. The gospel is the truth which solves the answer to the meaning of life. While we are all searching for beauty, truth, and purpose, our greatest fulfillment of these things is only found in God Himself. The greatest gift that Christ secures for us is the eternal presence of Christ Himself. Jesus restores us out of our fallen state and into this most desired place.
The gospel touches on and answers these two most pressing issues of our souls. That is, to find forgiveness and to find purpose. God gives us Himself as the solution to these things. He is our acceptance and our meaning. God provides a way for us to be accepted by Him, in order that we may find our meaning in Him. The Lord Jesus Christ gives us all this in Himself, not because we wanted it or deserved it, but because He is good.
1 John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”